Watch any elite running race and you’ll quickly notice that when it comes to gear, skimpy is very much the style. The shortest of short shorts are paired with a vest, no matter the weather.
Given the stick-thin build of elite runners it’s safe to assume that they’re not choosing vests to show off their hulking upper bodies. Sleeveless tops are the norm because they offer better air circulation than T-shirts, keeping the pros cooler when the pace heats up. But you don’t have to be running at elite speeds to enjoy those same benefits – running vests are a great pick for anyone on race day or when it’s hot out, and by wearing one in the summer you’ll avoid the T-shirt tan lines sported by regular runners during the warmer months.
Here are a few of our favourites.
Iffley Road Lancaster Striped Drirelease Vest
There aren’t many running vests that can be described as stylish, but this natty number from Iffley Road is one of them. The simple striped design may look old-school but the technology in the fabric is bang up to date – Iffley Road’s drirelease piqué fabric dries four times faster than cotton. £53, buy on iffleyroad.com
dhb Run Singlet
If you’re a committed sleeveless fan it’s worth stocking your wardrobe with these bargain vests from dhb. The vest is lightweight, has antibacterial properties to keep odour at bay and fits closely to avoid any flapping at speed. £11.99, buy on wiggle.co.uk
Lululemon Metal Vent Surge Tank
The mesh fabric on this lightweight number helps make it breathable and even if you do work up a hell of a sweat during your run, you don’t have to worry about the tank starting to stink. That’s because the Silverescent tech in the material hinders the growth of bacteria so it smells fresher than it otherwise would. £58, buy on lululemon.co.uk
Under Armour Threadborne Streaker Run Singlet
This vest hangs long and a little loose, so it’s a good pick for those who find body-hugging running tops too clingy. The fabric wicks away sweat and dries quickly, and the top has reflective logos on the front and back for extra visibility when running at night. £26, buy on underarmour.co.uk
Kalenji Run Dry Tank Top
Unsure if running in a vest is for you? Give it a try with this insanely cheap top from Decathlon’s in-house brand Kalenji. It’s breathable and sweat-wicking, and at £4 the only real criticism we have is that there aren’t more colours available. £3.99, buy on decathlon.co.uk